Green Team for Global Wellness

Weekly Eco-friendly Tip from Leaside United Church’s

Green Team for Global Wellness:


The LUC Green Team encourages everyone to reduce their energy use:

  • Spring is coming so use your solar dryer – dry your laundry in the sunshine (and on rainy or cold days hang it inside).
  • Wash your laundry in cold water.
  • Unplug appliances when they are not being used: e.g. Toasters and coffee makers with lights that show you the (toasting) time; this avoids phantom power!
  • Only put the dishwasher on when there it is fully loaded.
  • Turn the radio and TV off when you leave the room.
  • Sign up with a reusable power producer, e.g.


Extreme temperatures this past winter have certainly demonstrated our climate is changing. We all know each of us can and need to make changes in our daily habits if we are to pass on an inhabitable earth to following generations. Here are some well known changes each of us can implement now:                                       
  • East less meat
  • Walk, cycle or take transit more often
  • Turn the car off rather than idling
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room
  • Replace old incandescent light bulbs with LED ones
  • Buy less stuff

LUC’s Green Team is looking for a new focus for the Weekly Eco-friendly Tip and we need your input.  Please email us your ideas, or the things that are concerning you most about climate change. We have project ideas we intend to introduce to Leaside United Church over the next few months; if you would like to be more involved with the LUC Green Team for Global Wellness contact or


Feb. 21, 2018
Over the past few months, these eco-tips have focused primarily on reducing our use of plastic. We are not alone in this quest. The Church of England has suggested that its members give up plastic for Lent. Scotland is banning all plastic straws by 2019. The major Icelandic supermarket chain called “Iceland” has pledged to eliminate plastic packaging from its in-store brand products within five years. There is no doubt that plastic is a significant threat to our ecosystems, especially marine ecosystems. So please, review our tips and think about all the ways you can reduce your use of plastic, especially single-use plastic, and put them into action this week.

Feb. 14, 2018
When choosing toys for children, be conscious of both the packaging and the material used for the toy. Most toys are used for a few years at most, and a few more years if passed on to younger children. Then, a plastic toy will spend the next several hundred years in a landfill site. The plastic packaging around the toy is torn off and discarded immediately only to, again, spend the next several hundred years in a landfill site. Choose toys made of natural materials with minimal packaging.

Feb. 7, 2018
When we make presentations or want to reuse posters or papers, we often choose to protect the paper by laminating it. Keep in mind that once we have plasticized paper, it can take hundreds of years to decompose in a landfill. Before you laminate anything, stop to consider whether it is really necessary to have that piece of paper available in the landfill for future archaeologists to find in 500 years. If not, it is probably a better choice to use better quality paper that will last through several presentations and just replace the paper when necessary.

January 30, 2018
This week, we are pleased to have a guest post from our own Allison Hough, currently living in Panama.

“Sad to report, that living here in Panama, we are getting fish that are filled with plastic pieces. We do weekly clean ups on the beach and the plastic is monumental! Most times I go to the beach with a garbage bag and exercise by bending and picking up plastics. People have to be educated to stop using, throwing this stuff in our “nest”. My tip for your team: If I have to purchase something in that heavy duty sealed plastic, I go to the service desk and ask them to open for me. I then leave the plastic garbage there, and the store must dispose. They pay for garbage disposal. The more people that do this, the higher their bill, the more they will demand suppliers NOT to package that way.”

January 24, 2018
Even when we put plastic in our recycling bins, there is no guarantee that it will not end up in a landfill somewhere. We are also learning that many of our recyclables are shipped long distances to be processed, which is not ecologically sustainable. Let’s work towards eliminating the use of clear plastic produce bags at the grocery store. Try buying some small bags made of a sheer material to use instead of the plastic. Avoid double-bagging meat or using a bag for things like broccoli or lettuce, which you are going to wash anyway. If you use a plastic produce bag for something like fruit, save it and reuse it many times.

January 16, 2018
The disposal of plastics continues to be a huge environmental challenge, with 8 million tons of plastic making its way into our oceans each year. Microplastics or microbeads are less than 5 mm in diameter and found in toiletries – products intended for the cleansing or exfoliation of hair, skin, teeth, or mouth. This microbeads are turning up at many levels of the food chain. Canada has banned the use of microbeads as of July of this year. In the meantime, seek out products that do not contain microbeads.

January 4, 2018
With the start of 2018 each household in Toronto should have received a new 2018 Waste Management Guide & Collection Schedule. Make sure you have it handy and spend some time reviewing it to ensure you are up-to-date on what I items belong in which bin! I just learned that the following go in the garbage bin:

• coffee cups (regardless if the container says it is recyclable) and
• stand up pouches (currently popular for cereals, snacks and other food items).
Another great resource to help you make sure that you are not wasting your tax $ that manage our waste, composting and recycling materials is the City’s Waste Wizard – just google waste wizard and click on the first entry. This site can answer your questions about what item goes into which bin! Congratulations for helping to make our tax dollars used efficiently!

December 20, 2017
According to the David Suzuki Foundation, between late November and early January, household waste increases by more than 25 per cent, from extra food waste, packaging and trashed old items replaced with newer versions received as gifts. As you celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, think about ways that you can reduce this waste. If you are making New Year’s Resolutions, try to include at least one resolution to reduce the amount of plastic you are throwing away each week.

December 12, 2017
Here’s a Christmas eco-tip – Wrap gifts in reusable fabric bags or sturdy gift bags that can be used year after year. Skip the plastic bows and ribbons and avoid shiny foil wrapping paper that cannot be recycled. Use fabric or raffia ribbon and a cutting off an evergreen for trim.

December 6, 2017
Never ever use a plastic water bottle. They are usually filled with tap water which already comes through several taps in our homes and places of work. Bottled water is at least 500 times the price of tap water for the same product. In addition, there is the added pollution associated with transporting water bottles from the bottling facility to the storage facility to the store to home. Bottled water does not have to undergo the rigorous testing that municipal water does.

November 28, 2017
According to there are more than 8 million tons of plastic dumped in our oceans every year. This is one example of the damage that we are doing to our environment with our excessive use of plastic. Here is one simple first step to reduce the plastic that is discarded. Stop using straws. In a restaurant, ask for a drink without a straw. For more information, check out the article “Plastic Straws Suck” at